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Iowa's teal season opens Sept. 1

Iowa’s first duck hunting season begins September 1 with the 16 day teal-only season. These fast flying early migrators use the first cool spell in late August as a sign to start heading south.

Teal have a well-earned reputation as an easy to decoy species popular with young and novice hunters, said Orrin Jones, waterfowl biologist with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.  It’s also considered one the most popular ducks for the dinner table.

“Teal are popular because they are pretty naïve, often giving hunters multiple opportunities for success, plus the weather is usually comfortable and there’s a lot going on in the marsh for kids to see,” Jones said. 

He said wetland conditions will depend on the weather in the next few weeks. If it’s hot and dry, most will be low and muddy. If it’s cool and wet, wetlands will be in better shape.

“Preseason scouting will be important again this year to identify which wetlands the teal are using,” he said. “This is another reminder that wetland conditions and migration is weather dependent.”

Teal season shooting hours are sunrise to sunset which is different than regular duck season to help prevent misidentification. The daily limit is six teal (blue-winged, green-winged or cinnamon only) with a possession limit of 18. Nontoxic shot is required and guns must be restricted to hold no more than three shells. Teal season is Sept. 1-16 statewide. 

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